Posted by: Kerry Gans | April 21, 2016

Top Picks Thursday! For Readers and Writers 04-21-2016

20160413_104927Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! The tax deadline has passed, and most of us are breathing easier now. Spring has also made a re-appearance in our neck of the woods, and we are enjoying the warm temperatures and beautiful flowers.

Check out the 2016 Pulitzer Prize winners for letters and drama.

Beverly Cleary is 100 years old! Drop everything and read.

Marta Bausells brings us the perks of getting lost at the London Book Fair while John A. Sellers and Diane Roback report on the Bologna Book Fair.

In war-torn Afghanistan, a national book drive has provided 20,000 books to 7 libraries in provinces that saw some of the worst violence of the war.

Diverse voices are speaking up and showing up. Sara Bennett discusses her anger at the lack of authentic autistic voices in books, and artist Shawn Martinbrough fights for more diversity in comics.

In a merging of diverse schools of art, the Attack on Titan Anthology unites manga and Western comic artists.

Patricia Bouweaerts asks the experts if we should correct a co-worker who uses poor grammar.

In a bleak survey, the Authors Guild finds that income for US authors now falls below the federal poverty line.


Think your book should be a series? Ash Krafton explains how to engineer a fiction series.

Sometimes authors wonder what the big deal is with word count—the story needs to be as long or as short as it needs to be. Janet Reid explains why a word count shorter than expected for your genre can be a red flag.

From big picture to fine detail, there are a lot of elements that go into a good story. Ursula Bloom discusses choosing your words carefully, Liz Bureman explains the techniques of parataxis and hypotaxis, Jami Gold explores the link between paragraph breaks and voice, and Kristen Lamb gives us 3 ways to add the sizzle to fiction that fizzled.

Characters can make or break your story. Joyce Scarbrough shows how to bring your characters to life, Becca Puglisi discusses friends as enemies, K.M. Weiland tells you everything you need to know about 3rd person, Marcy Kennedy explores using deep POV to capture readers’ emotions, and Joanna Roddy shares the Enneagram for character development.

Dialogue helps define character. Martina Boone explains how to use dialogue to spice up the middle of your story, while Larry Brooks warns against a dialogue mistake that always makes a writer look bad.

If you find that you cruise along until you get to the end of your story and then you can’t quite get to THE END, Dr. John Yeoman lists 7 brilliant ways to finish your story.

Jason M. Hough shares 5 reasons writers should listen to audiobooks, Eva Lesko Natiello explains why a writer’s work is never done, James Scott Bell finds writing lessons from The Masters, and Christopher Shultz has compiled 22 of the best single sentences on writing.

Lucas Mangum shares writing life insights, Maureen Eichner explores the particular pleasures of rereading, and Chuck Wendig discusses how to avoid burnout using the acronym WWYL.

There’s a lot of emotion that goes into being a writer—it’s as much a test of will as of craft. Julie Musil discusses how to deal with rejection and not waste your talent, Kennedy Quinn explains why she is writing it forward, and Jami Gold explores what helps you BE a writer.


Sara Spary explores the rise in physical book sales last year, thanks in part to the adult coloring book craze.

If you’re searching for new outlets for your book, Jane Freidman discusses a new platform for serials, Tapas Media, and Mark Lund explains the 2 paths to getting your book made into a movie.

Agents weigh in on agent-y stuff: Janet Reid explains how having more than one agent should work, and Jane Dystel emphasizes the importance of a well-thought-out, professional book proposal. Rachelle Gardner answers questions about queries, and Janet Reid describes what to do when you realize you made a mistake in your query after you’ve sent it.

Janice Hardy explains how the business side of publishing works, and Janet Reid spells out what an author/agency agreement covers.

Marketing is all about getting eyes on your product so you can build and audience. Lisa London explains how to attract media for your book launch, Melissa F. Miller discusses using preorders to boost new release book sales, Cat Michaels has 11 tips to build an online community, and Fauzia Burke shares how to build an audience for your novel.

Author photos are important—it’s our public face to the world. Amanda Filipacchi tells us how to pose like a man in an author photo.

Looking at social media, Frances Caballo gives us an Instagram primer for indie authors and tells us how to find great content your readers will love. Kirsten Oliphant explores creating branded images for social media, and Aimee Covney discusses using MailChimp and BookFunnel to grow your mailing list.


If you love books, check out these 5 awesome in-real-life bookish marriage proposals. And then you can use one of these 22 magical cakes book lovers will appreciate as your wedding cake.

Like horror? Take a look at the 10 bestselling horror authors alive today.

In a literary estate horror story, the heirs of John Steinbeck are now feuding over Steven Spielberg’s The Grapes of Wrath adaptation.

A lot of writers love to journal, others don’t. Chelsey Pippin brings us 19 journals that are actually fun to use.

If you have a mother-daughter book club (or just want to share a read with your mother or daughter), Karen Green has compiled 12 novels for a mother-daughter book club.

If you’re seeking something a little more light-hearted, check out these 10 books for fans of Pride and Prejudice, suggested by author Curtis Sittenfeld.

Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary is upon us, and we’re still finding out more about him. A rare Shakespeare First Folio was discovered in a grand Scottish home, and David Smith looks at how Shakespeare influenced the American ad industry.

Clearly, we all know who Shakespeare is, but Mary Sharratt discusses Shakespeare’s most accomplished female literary contemporaries.

We’ve all seen this typeface, but none of us knew how revolutionary it was. Dan Damon explores Johnston Sans: The Tube typeface that changed everything.

That’s all for this week! Join us next week for another Top Picks Thursday!

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